Kabul police chief Gen. Mohammed Zahir resigned on Sunday, following three Taliban attacks in 10 days on foreign guest houses and in the capital. The most recent attack came on Saturday, when Taliban suicide attackers killed the South African leader of a foreign aid group, his son and daughter and an Afghan worker in an assault on the agency's Kabul offices.
Kabul's police spokesman declined to comment to Reuters on the reason for the chief's resignation.
Kabul has seen eight deadly suicide attacks against high-profile targets in the past 16 days, one of the most violent periods in the capital in years. In recent days, four foreigners — including an employee of the British embassy — have been killed, and dozens of Afghan civilians have been killed and wounded. Earlier in November, a Taliban-engineered explosion killed at least 10 Afghan police officers.
The attacks have raised concerns about whether Afghan security forces can protect the country after the U.S. and NATO officially conclude their 13-year combat mission on Dec. 31. They also suggest that a reinvigorated Taliban is taking advantage of the situation.
Speaking to reporters before his resignation, Zahir did not offer many details about the victims of the most recent attack. But a Redlands, California-based group called Partnership in Academics and Development later posted a notice on its website saying several of its staffers died during an attack Saturday in Kabul.
"We are caring for all staff and their families as they grieve the loss of their friends and co-workers and nurse the wounded," the statement read. "Our thoughts are with the survivors and their families as they grieve the loss of life. Their selfless sacrifice for the people of Afghanistan is an inspiration to all."
Saturday's attack saw three Taliban fighters launch an assault on the office, with one exploding a suicide bomb vest and the two others later killed in a shootout with police, authorities said. At least one of the attackers wore a police uniform, Zahir said.
Zabiullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, claimed on Twitter that the compound struck on Saturday was that of a secret Christian missionary group and that a meeting of Australian visitors had been hit.
Also on Saturday, Taliban attacks killed at least 11 Afghan soldiers in Helmand, including one on a base once held by NATO forces, according to Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor.
Al Jazeera and wire services